In April, apprehensions by border patrol personnel dropped to 11,129, with the number of children apprehended coming in below 1,000. This marks the lowest total for any month in decades, the Washington Times reported.
In December, 43,253 were apprehended while trying to cross the southern border.
The number of apprehensions is generally seen as an indicator of overall flow: the more people who are apprehended, the more people likely also made it across undetected.
“At its peak early in the last decade, the Tucson sector, which is just one of nine regions along the border, regularly recorded more than 70,000 apprehensions in a single month. Last month, Tucson reported fewer than 1,500 arrests,” the Times reported.
In contrast to the policies of the Obama administration, Trump has called for speedy deportations and additional detention centers to house apprehended undocumented immigrants so they are not released into United States prior to their hearings.
In the Obama era, law enforcement frequently let those apprehended illegally entering the US go among the general population, where they would sometimes fail to show up for their deportations and remain in the country illegally.
“A lot of the discussion about changes in our enforcement policy and the way we are going about doing business, we believe that has deterred people,” Homeland Security spokesman David Lapan told the Times. “When you get here, it is likely you are going to get caught. You are going to be returned to your country.”
Experts believe that the increased risk of being immediately deported after spending thousands for help illegally crossing is a strong deterrent. R. Gil Kerlikowske, the former head of US Customs and Border Protection, said at a Migration Policy Institute event this week said that the harsher policies send “a pretty powerful message and, frankly, has a chilling effect on people.”